The Effectiveness of the International Criminal Court

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There is a close relationship between human rights and criminal law. The scope of my paper will surround human rights and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in addition to human rights and international crimes. International criminal justice in this context speaks to those interested in prosecuting against the background of international human rights and humanitarian norms. The use of criminal law has many positive effects and pursues many goals that are worth considering. For example, deterrence, accountability and punishment are important principles that will be discussed in the context of human rights. Is the International Criminal Court an effective method to promote and protect human rights internationally? If so, why and how?

My thesis is that the International Criminal Court is an effective mechanism for the promotion and protection of human rights internationally because, by embodying the principles of criminal responsibility, it brings forth the notion of the individual as an agent in human rights and, by doing so, upholds the progressive shift that human rights conventions have developed. Criminal responsibility for human rights violations is important given that, by categorizing certain human rights violations as such, it allows for a progressive move internationally against those violations. International criminal law is an important tool that those advocating for human rights can use. The continued use of criminal law internationally, including the adoption of the ICC in 2002, will allow for a shift in legal norms resulting an increase in human rights. In this way, criminal responsibility allows for the education of peoples around the world by making an example of certain cases and displays the importance of ...

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...l Criminal Justice, 3 (2005): 608-620.

Lynn Sellers Bickley, “U.S. Resistance to the International Criminal Court: Is the Sword Mightier than the Law?” Emory International Law Review, 14 (2000): 214-276.

International Criminal Court. 2013. Accessed online on November 5, 2013:

Payam Akhavan, “The Rise, and Fall, and Rise, of International Criminal Justice,” Journal of International Criminal Justice, 11:3 (2013): pp. 527-536.

Rebecca Young, “Internationally Recognized Human Rights Before the International Criminal Court,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 60 (2011):189-208.

Hans-Peter Gasser, “The Changing Relationship between International Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law,” The Legal Regime of the ICC: Essays in Honour of Prof. I.P. Blishchenko (2009) pp. 1111-1117.
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